08 Dec A ‘Thank You’ To Global Health Workers
In October 1977, in the country of Somalia, a young man named Ali Maow Maalin contracted the world’s last case of naturally occurring smallpox. By not passing the disease to any other person he broke the chain of transmission that had existed from the very first case thousands of years earlier. The global eradication of smallpox was certified in 1979 and endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 1980.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of making smallpox history. The lasting contributions of the smallpox vaccination campaign remind us that we already have the tools and the knowledge to eradicate polio and measles and dramatically reduce other vaccine preventable diseases.